School attendance is important because it underscores the significance of learning and the importance of obtaining an education in our society. Regular attendance in school helps develop good habits that will carry over in life such as responsibility and a good work ethic. Success in middle school correlates directly with consistent attendance. Bay Creek Middle School personnel document and monitor attendance for every student. Incentives and rewards are provided to students individually and collectively for achieving and maintaining outstanding attendance. School attendance is the responsibility of both parents and students. Bay Creek Middle School will implement the GCPS Attendance Protocol which is published in the Student & Parent Discipline Handbook. Students and parents will be provided a copy of this handbook at the beginning of the school year.
The day a student returns to school, an excuse note should be taken to the attendance office. The note should include the student’s name, absence date, reason, parent signature, and phone number. Notes must be received within 5 days of the absence. After 5 days, professional documentation is needed. A doctor’s note is required after ten (10) parent notes or when a student is absent 3 or more consecutive days. Doctors offices and parents can fax documentation to (770) 736-6908.
Georgia State Board of Education Rule 160-5-1-10 defines the following absences as excused:
- Personal illness
- A serious illness or death in a student’s immediate family
- A court order or an order by a government agency
- Observing religious holidays
- Visitation with a parent prior to or during leave from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting as a member of the armed forces of the U.S. or the National Guard
A student is AWOL when absent without official leave from school or class. A student may not leave school grounds after his/her arrival on campus without the permission of a duly authorized school official. Students who leave campus without checking out or are absent without their parent's knowledge will be considered AWOL from school. Students who do not have permission to be out of class are considered AWOL from class. Students absent from class for ten or more minutes are AWOL.
AWOL consequences are as follows:
1st - 2nd AWOL - Administrative Conference and Counselor referral
3 AWOLs - Administrative Conference, Saturday School, and Social Worker referral
4+ AWOLs - ISS/OSS/loss of extracurricular privileges (ballgames, school dance)
Counting Students Present for Partial Day:
To be counted present for the whole day, students must attend at least the equivalent of half the school day. This does not have to be continuous time. In order to be counted present, students must check-in before 12:35 PM. Students who check out before 12:35 PM and do not return to school will be counted absent. Check-outs are not allowed after 3:30 PM due to dismissal procedures.
State Law Requirements
- Students may be excused from school under the following circumstances (written notes are required):
- Personal illness or attendance in school endangering a student’s health or the health of others.
- A serious illness or death in a student's immediate family necessitating absence from school.
- A court order or an order by a governmental agency, including pre-induction physical examinations for service in the armed forces, mandating absence from school.
- Observing religious holidays, necessitating absence from school.
- Conditions rendering attendance impossible or hazardous to student health or safety.
- A period not to exceed one day is allowed, at the discretion of the local unit of administration, for registering to vote or voting in a public election.
- Visiting with a parent or legal guardian prior to or during leave from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting as a member of the armed forces of the United States or the National Guard (maximum of five school days per year).
- Students will be counted present when they are serving as pages of the Georgia General Assembly.
- Absences shall not penalize student grades if the following conditions are met:
- Absences are justified and validated for excused reasons. Absences are excused with a written note signed by a parent or guardian for one of the reasons listed above. Email is not accepted. The absence will be marked unexcused until the homeroom teacher receives notification regarding the absence(s) within three days of returning to school.
- Make up work for an excused absence was completed satisfactorily. Students are responsible for making arrangements and completing make up work within the specified timeline. Students are permitted two school days to make-up work for every one day of absence.
- Work missed will not count for or against the final grade of students who are suspended short term (1-10 days). Suspended students shall make up those tests and assignments that the teachers determine will have an impact on the student's final grade and mastery of AKS. Assignments that the teachers do not require to be made up will not count toward a student's final grade.
Students who are registered in school, but are not attending, and do not have permission to be absent are considered to be truant. Students who have emergencies necessitating their absence from school for a portion of the school day must have been present for the majority of the school day in order to be counted present.